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Final Report

Guide Groups Final Evaluation Report


Skookum Lab is a three-year Indigenous social innovation lab created by the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee. The Lab was created to address the high rate of Indigenous child and youth poverty in Surrey; 1 in 4 Indigenous children live in poverty in the city. After two years, the Lab is evaluating “the Guide Group prototype” which has been running since the Spring of 2019. The objective of this evaluation was to reveal the significant changes that Skookum Lab participants, key stakeholders, and our implementation team has been hearing about and observing transpire for well over a year. Also, the Lab wished to document how these significant changes contribute to systems change, as well as show how this prototype can be sustained and scaled.

Skookum Lab adapted the concept of “Guide Groups” from another social innovation lab, the Winnipeg Boldness Project, in the context of Surrey. Skookum Guide Groups are innovative spaces for Indigenous people to build strong connections with each other and culturally engage in group activities, such as regalia making. Also, these are spaces for Indigenous people to use their voices, wisdom, and gifts to guide the social innovation process, alongside key community stakeholders.

Skookum Guide Groups are comprised of a total membership of 62 Indigenous Elders, youth, community support workers, and caregivers in Surrey. From Guide Group beginnings until now, a total of 72 Guide Group sessions have been carried out with an operational budget of almost $100,000 annually.

Skookum Lab interviewed a total of 13 Indigenous community members, Elders and Caregivers, during the summer of 2020 and held 1 focus group session with the Skookum Lab Team. This evaluation has enabled Guide Group members to identify key themes in regards to the significant changes that they see in their lives and within their Indigenous community in Surrey. Skookum Lab’s principle is to centre Indigenous wisdom in our social innovations. This evaluation centres Indigenous wisdom by directly quoting Guide Group participants in order to communicate significant changes in their own words.

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All Our Relations: Honouring the Host Nations

SUILC recognizes that we operate on the unceded, ancestral, traditional and current territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Kwikwetlem, Qayqayt, and Tsawwassen First Nations.